Get your items fixed at the Repair Café

Posted On 13 Jul 2017
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What do you do with your broken stuff? Toss it? No way! The Mamakating Library will hold the next Repair Café on Saturday, August 4. Mark your calendar!

Running from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs free of charge and to demonstrate the processes used in repair. People visiting the Repair Café will bring along their broken items from home.

Volunteer repairers will welcome clothes and other textiles, toys, lamps, electric clocks, small pieces of furniture, picture frames, brass instruments, guitars, bicycles and other odd and unusual items needing repair.  New for this Café: jewelry repair! Please bring any replacement parts that may be required, such as switches, zippers and guitar strings.

BONUS SERVICES: Knife/scissor-sharpening will be available and the houseplant doctor will be ‘in the house’!

All are welcome. Repair Café visitors will be registered upon arrival and will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis. For those waiting, refreshments will be available and the library will be open for browsing, reading and checking out materials. In addition, the Mamakating Lionesses will have baked goods for sale. By providing free repairs and/or consultations, the Mamakating Library wants to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to Repair Café Planning Committee Member Jodi Van der Kruik. “We throw away piles of stuff in the United States. Even things which have practically nothing wrong with them and which could easily be used again after a simple repair. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired or even repair them themselves. Repair Café wants to change that.”

Repair Café is also meant to put neighbors in touch with each other in a new way and to discover that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home. Committee Member Marcia Zimmerman: “If you repair a bike, a picture frame or a pair of pants together with a previously unfamiliar neighbor, you look at that person in a different light the next time you run into them on the street. Jointly making repairs can lead to friendly contacts in the community.”

Mamakating Library Director Peggy Johansen points out that repairs can save money and resources, and can help minimize CO2 emissions. “But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.”

The idea of holding a Repair Café in Wurtsboro is an outcome of the Mamakating Dialogue 2 Change discussions held in the spring of 2016 at the Mamakating Library and sponsored by the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission. The Repair Café is just one in a series of programs collectively called “Get It Done!”


Repair Café Foundation

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-based journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation (see This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café. The foundation also supports several Repair Cafés in the Hudson Valley, including Warwick, Gardiner and New Paltz.

We will miss Bobby Dunn, Mr. Electric, who generously volunteered at the first Mamakating Repair Café in July of 2017.

For more information about the Mamakating Repair Café, call the library at (845)888-8004.